UK_flag Summary






D_flag Summary
Schweizer Seiten

Heritage sites


Separated by just by a tunnel, this amazing region can be reached by train in about 20 Minutes from Realp, or 35 Min from Andermatt. A popular region for cross country skiers in Winter, it has a lot to offer for Hikers in the summer.
Oberwald as the uppermost village is on the other side of Furkapass, which runs from Realp by Furkapass and Gletsch. Gletsch is the turnoff for Grimselpass, leading to Haslital and Meiringen.
During summer, combinations with the renovated Steam train "Dampfbahn Furka Bergstrecke" may give a special touch to some of the Hikes. There are stops at Tiefenbach, Furka DFB, Muttbach, Gletsch and Oberwald. 

Book in German "Walliser Totentanz"


Nufenenpass: Connects All Acqua in the Ticino with Ulrichen/Obergesteln.
Griespass: Connects Nufenen with Riale in Italy.
Oberwald-Grimsel: Hike from Oberwald/Obergesteln to Grimselpass
Grimsel-Sidelhorn-Obergesteln: A marvelous sight, then a hike downwards through diverse vegetation.
Furka: Shorttour to Bidmer lookout. Hike from the summit to Oberwald in Goms.
Gommer Hoehenweg: This hiking trail along the Valley, stretching from Oberwald to Bellwald, runs at an altitude of some 1600.
- Part one: Oberwald to Reckingen.
- Part two: Bellwald to Reckingen
Galmihornhuette: On 2100 m, an excellent view over Goms valley is guaranteed.
Oberwal-Gluringen on the forest track: The "Waldweg" is an attractive alternative to the popular "Rottenweg".
Gluringen-Muehlebach-Fuergangen: Along the Rottenweg to the the village with the houses.
Fuergangen-Muehlebach over new Suspension Bridge
Winter trails in Goms: There are kilometers of excellently prepared tracks. 
Road alternating One Way traffic
To Oberaarsee every full hr 
To Grimselpass every half hr
Oberaar-Einbahn.jpg (29012 Byte)

top of page

Griespass, Nufenenpass


Ticinoquelle.jpg (863265 Byte)

The track of Strada alta Bedretto (Strada degli alpi) continues to Griespass (and to Italy) or by Nufenenpass over into Goms valley in Valais. 

The new excellent pass for motor traffic was opened in 1969. With an altitude of about 2500 m Nufenen it is the highest public main road in Switzerland. 
While the Furka train tunnel (Real-Oberwald) was being built, a connection with Bedretto valley was considered and some constructive adaptations where carried out, but Plans are now archived.


From Griespass, the old mule track crosses over to Italy's Forazza valley and on to Domodossola (Bus Ritale/IT near lake Lagi di Morasco to "Domo"). On the first Sunday in August a big "Saeumerfest" is celebrated on the Italien side of the pass with a lot of drinking, eating and having fun.

Since both crossings are close, the track notes cover both.

Ulrichen-Gries See-All'Acqua Std.
Zug-Goeschenen-Andermatt-Ulrichen (train)  
Ulrichen-Loch-Bodmer bridge-Ladstafel-lake

Lake-point 2520-Capane di Corno-Alpe di Cuino-All'Acqua



All'Acqua-Airolo (bus)
Airolo-Zug (train)

After Ulrichen railway station the trail is running some 50 m West of the Nufenen pass road. Pedestrian are even presented with their own roofed wooden bridge.

At "Loch" (hole) the pass road has to be crossed. The little church Saint Anna Chapel at Loch/Ulrichen Saint Anna with a beautiful wooded ceiling and a remarkable altarpiece should be visited. Not only the church, the whole environment with the old houses and their unique staircases is well worth a short visit.

Shortly afterwards the trail ascends on the left side of the pass road. The first 150 m are Bitumen, then we're on a lovely hiking trail, sometimes far off the noisy pass road, then again close by. Sometimes the road has to be crossed, but we're always on our own track.

Quite interesting and a bit adventurous is finally the crossing of the river Aegina on Bodmer bridge, a fairly new suspension bridge. The river below is quite wild.

Stonebridge at LadstafelAt Ladstafel there is another bridge, the old stone bow bridge "Ladsteg" (1761). High up the dam of Gries lake is visible and to the left a Christian cross. That's about where we're heading.
After crossing the pass road the track passes the alp hut to the right (cheese produced here is being sold). It's getting very steep now. At first the track is generally leading towards Nufenen pass, but later more towards the dam. After a while we hit the driveway.
To the left the road is leading to Nufenenpass, to the right to the parking near the dam. 
Following the road to the parking, the last part can be reached by a ragged track, climbing some rocks. By using the much longer driveway a more comfortable ascent is possible. The crown of the dam may be crossed.

Having lunch above the lake we're in a unfamiliar surrounding: across Griesgletscher and Gries Lake the glacier "Griesgletscher" with Blinnenhorn, across the lake the Italian/Swiss border. To Griespass it's about 30 Minutes on the very good visible path over the rubble.

The trail into Bedretto valley runs in the cut of the Val Corno with Glacier Lake the impressive glacier scenery: the lake, squeezed in by Nufenenhorn and the snow- and ice covered flanks of the mountain range, which is building the border between Italy and Switzerland. The track is running on a little moraine, rests of snow are still filling some deeper hollows.

The descent from Corno hut (Capanna Corno Gries) is a bit ragged, partly washed out. From here another trail runs to San Giacomo and over the pass with the same name into Italian Formazza valley, where also Griespass is leading.
Nufenenpass road and Bedretto valleyThe way to Airolo may be shortened by using the Postauto. Near Alpe di Cruina there is a bus stop for the Line Ulrichen-Nufenen-Airolo. (Dep. towards Airolo: 4:15, 6:23 PM, Jun 23 - Sep 30, schedule 2007). 

For hikers the trail runs along the pass road. Later on we're on a narrow track right in the blueberry and juniper shrubs. For a short stretch the track is even ascending, a bit irritating for the tired hiker, but it's worth the trouble. Soon we're enjoying the shade of trees and then we're on the driveway over to All' Acqua with bus stop and Restaurant. (Dep. towards Airolo: 4:20, 4:35; 5:25, 6:25 PM, June - Sep, schedule 2007). 
The modern, pretty chapel is worth a visit.

Chapel Saint Anna

A former chapel was rebuilt in 1465, after destruction. The present chapel was built between 1683 and 1686, after destruction of that other chapel. 
Land was a present of the local family Riedmatten. Additional financial support was received from Italian partners across the border.
The statue "Saint Anna with Daughter Maria and baby son Jesus" was built by  sculptor Regli, after a picture with Saint Anna has been burnt and destroyed by French and Swiss soldiers during the Helvetic (1799).

The small statue (Nepomuk) to the left in the font of the nave used to be at Ladsteg (the stone bridge at Ladstafel), together with a small Ex Voto picture.

top of page


Grimsel pass was another important part of the mule track net. It connected Goms in the Valais with the Bern Haslital.

Oberwald-Grimselpass hrs
Zug-Goeschenen-Andermatt-Realp-Oberwald (train)  
Oberwald-St.Niklaus-Baerfel-Hotel Rhonequelle-
Grimselpass-Oberwald (Postauto)
Oberwald-Realp-Andermatt-Goeschenen-Zug (train)

check!  only in operation during Summer months!
As for some other routes a "Zuschlag" (surcharge) is applied, because the route is a pure tourist route, not used for regional trafic. 
With a free ticket (like "GA") the charge Grimsel Pass-Gletsch-Oberwald  is Fr. 8.-- (2008).

Grimselpass, TotenseeThe logical start for the tour should accordingly be Obergesteln. I chose Oberwald. Although I had to modify my plans a bit, because the track by Grimselbode was closed (repair, falling rocks). So I chose the somewhat longer route by Hohflue.

The section Oberwald to Hotel Rhonequelle is marked as a Snow - shoe track in winter!

The start of the Grimselbode - track is some 100 m from the church in direction of the railway station. The beginning for our tour is shortly after Rhone bridge. Both tracks are clearly marked and of course there are lots of other fantastic trails as well.

The first part is flat and crosses woods with lightly dispersed Larch pines. Then it proceeds along the young Rhone river which deposits here lots of sand and gravel. Still in the flat, we cross the Goneri river, then the Rhone. Now the track gets steeper, but for sweating it's either too early still, or not steep enough. The little Chapel Saint Niklaus gives an excuse for a short rest, and it's a lovely lookout.

The climb on the forest track goes on and soon we're in the Garden of the Hotel Rhonequelle with its fountain.

The path continues some 50 m over at the other side of the pass road. It is now a drive way (closed to public motor traffic). This pleasant road will continue almost to the top of the pass.

Shortly after the stables at Sattetli we're at the merger with the track coming up from Obergesteln. Sometime later we're at another merger with the track for Jostsee lake and Sidelhorn, or Rundsee - Bidmer to Obergesteln.

Galenstock, RhonegletscherFrom this merger, at about 2200 m altitude, the last part of the track will be partly over polished rock plates on the way over to Totensee and our goal, the Grimsel pass summit.


For the name of the lake (lake of the dead) is again Napoleon partly responsible: In the fight of 1799 against the Austrians, the many dead soldiers of both sides have been buried in this lake. 

top of page


The climb to the nearby Sidelhorn is quite popular, perhaps especially for the visitors driving up Grimselpass road.
The hike is neither difficult, nor dangerous, - but very bumpy. Particularly the upper part consists of a bunch of broken rocks. Lots of "Steimanndli" (stones stacked on top of each other) give some hints of a reasonable way.

Grimsel-Sidelh-Obergest.jpg (175376 Byte)
Active map:


Grimsel Pass-Sidelhorn-Obergesteln hrs
Zug-Luzern-Meiringen (SBB, ZB)
Meiringen-Grimselpass (Postauto)
Grimsel "Alpenroesli"-(Husegghuette)-Sidelhorn-
(Triebseelicke)-Jostsee-Ze Seewe- Gaemschfax-Ragarten-Gadestatt-Obergesteln
Obergesteln-Goeschenen-Zug (MGB, SBB)  

Check!  only in operation during Summer months!
As for some other routes a "Zuschlag" (surcharge) is applied, because the route is a pure tourist route, not used for regional traffic. 
With a free ticket (like "GA") the charge Meiringen-Grimsel Pass is Fr. 8.-- (2008).

Sidelhorn: Galenstock, TotenseeInstead of using the marked track by Husegghuette, I chose the direct line by "Sidelini" (On the active map, thats the southern track). That is, instead of following the Oberaar road for 200 m, I turned left. An unmarked track is clearly visible. After 1000 m, a rocky area of Sidelhorn is circumvented on the Sidelhorn: Triebten, Oberaar, Grimselseeleft. Following on the left side of the cleft the real climb begins now. It's a bit tiring, crawling over all those rocks. Reaching the saddle at 2640 m, the other track coming up from Husegghuette is being met. The "official" track is perhaps the better choice! The last 100 m to the top bring more and bigger rocks, but finally we're atop. What a view! 

Above pictures:
Lower photo: Blue Triebtensee (=opaque lake) and brownish Oberaar- and Grimsel lakes (such water is often named "glacier milk"). 
To the West, behind Oberaarsee and Oberaargletscher is Finsteraarhorn, the Peak behind the end of Grimselsee is Schreckhorn, with the Finsteraar and Lauteraar glacier merging into Unteraar glacier and running towards Grimselsee. 
Upper photo: To the North-East the white Galenstock (with the cloud), Rhonegletscher and blue Totensee.

Sidelhorn-AbstiegThe descent towards Triebseelicke is mainly over big boulders. At the merger with the track coming up from Triebtensee (Pt 2689), I turned left down the rocky rubble towards Jostsee (on the "active map" the northern track).
Reaching the alp meadows and turning towards to the right, Jostsee is reached after a few Minutes.

Ze Seewe: RundseeliThe walk to the little lakes, Ze Seewe (=at the lakes), follows for a good part a narrow grass track (under it is water pipe) along a hill. After the rocky decline some recuperation for the poor legs.

Then the descent is coming. First to Gaemschfax and then, steeper still, to Gadestatt. 

Obergesteln is one of those lovely hamlets in the Goms valley, with the church in the center, surrounded by sun burnt wooden homes and stables. Usually, on the hillside there are dams as protection against avalanches, some times with a chapel right in the most important spot. 

top of page


Furka is the second highest pass in Switzerland that is open for Motor traffic. From the summit the lookout Bidmer can be reached comfortably.

Furkapass-Bidmer-Furkapass (easy short tour) hrs
Bidmer-Muttgletscher-Furkapass (same way back)


Furkapass - Oberwald hrs
Zug-Goeschenen-Andermatt (train)
Andermatt- Furkapass (Postauto)
Oberwald-Andermatt-Goeschenen-Zug (train)  

Postauto: check! usually only in operation during Summer months!

Two remarkable trails are leading down into Goms and Oberwald. Up Muttgletscher, Taellistock to Mutt glacier both routes are identical and for the most part clearly visible from the summit: At first to the glacier, then in a wide bow across the valley along the slope of Taellistock over to the alp meadows. 

At the begin the driveway, slightly ascending, runs along the valley of Muttbach and to the lower end of the glacier. Deep below the tracks of the mountain railway can be seen.
After crossing the glacier rubbles and some creeks we're on the other side of Muttbach. We ignore the turn off for the mountain track towards Taellistock and on to Taelligrat, Hungerberg, Gere, Oberwald.
Proceeding on the flat and comfortable route we're traversing a region with falling rocks. Some tunnels give some additional security. Shortly after leaving this zone, now on a Grass track, again a path turnoff. It is connecting with the above mentioned Taelligrat route, this time on the other side of Taellistock.

We are tempted by the little hill with the altitude detail "2510 m". Rhonegletscher The short climb is rewarding: in a impressive way Rhonegletscher, Grimsel and Totensee are presented. Deep below is Gletsch with the departure point Furka Dampfbahn, the Hotel and the two pass roads. Belvedere with the entrance into Rhone glacier seems to be 

Goms, Grimsel

For the Short tour, this is the point for return and probably for lunch too.

The trail to Oberwald passes near the three little Bidmer lakes. One Bidmersee thing is obvious: the descent is steep and the track not always clearly visible. Getting lost is not possible: way below, somewhat to the left the continuation of the track can clearly be seen.

After crossing of the Alps Gand and Tole we reach the small driveway Above Oberwald down to Gere. Some bends later we're at the turnoff for the mountain station and Restaurant of Hungerberg (the board reads 10 Minutes). From there Oberwald can be reached by chairlift, saving some 50 Minutes of, now again a rather steep, descent.

top of page

Gommer Hoehenweg

Gommer Höhenweg.jpg (49430 Byte)Profiles



Oberwald - Reckingen

Oberwald.jpg (328124 Byte)Interactive map: 



Oberwald-Reckingen hrs
Zug-Goeschenen-Andermatt-Realp-Oberwald (SBB, MGB)  
Reckingen-Andermatt-Goeschenen-Zug (MGB, SBB)  

For this lovely track a short climb to the altitude of some 1500 to 1600 m is necessary. Every village along the Goms region on the right of Rhone river (Rotten) has at least one track up there.

For people who prefer a flat walk: The "Rottenwanderung", always along or near the Rhone river, is an alternative. A well kept trail runs from Oberwald to Ernen, across Fiesch.Time needed for the whole trail and over to Fiesch about 7 hrs, but shorter chunks from one village to another are popular.

Minstigerbach.jpg (63850 Byte)From Oberwald, directly from the Rail station, a marker points towards the left. The road crosses over the main road with the tunnel (a avalanche precaution) and after a wide slope it changes to the hiking track. 

We're now on a altitude of 1500 m plus.
Generally the track runs on about this level, Highest point is above Ulrichen, when the valley with the Oberbach has to be crossed.

Muenster.jpg (50376 Byte)A special scenery is guaranteed: first a soft distant murmur, then the track cuts into the ravine, climbing a bit, then the roar of the white water can't be overheard. The vegetation has changed too. A look up to where all that water is appearing: rock walls. After the crossing the track leaves the narrow cut, the track is descending, it's quiet and peaceful again.
Six times we're crossing larger rivers.

Alte Lärche.jpg (143684 Byte)About 500 m after crossing Millibach, above Obergesteln, a board points to one of the oldest Larch tree. The climb to the 700 year old tree is pretty steep, but just a few meters above the tree, a drive way down will merge with our former Hiking track, so one does not have to retrace on the steep path. Track closed, the tree could collapse anytime.

top of page

Bellwald - Reckingen

Bellwald2.jpg (203515 Byte)
Interactive map: 


The holiday village Bellwald can be reached by a small cable car from Fuergangen, integrated into the  MGB Railway station. Bellwald is a holiday village with a large part of old Valais houses and is beautifully situated on a slope above the upper Rhone valley (Goms), and the Fieschertal.

The cable car: It is operated from the Bellwald station. Time table is on the wall. Just get into the cable car and wait. On time, after a ring, the door will be closed automatically. Cashier and operator is at the top.

Bellwald-Reckingen hrs
Zug-Goeschenen-Andermatt-Realp-Fuergangen (train)
Fuergangen-Bellwald (cable car)
ZGufersmatte(Haenggisch Hittae)-Reckingen
Reckingen-Andermatt-Goeschenen-Zug (train)  

Start of the Gommer Hoehenweg is in the Bellwald: Weisshorn Sport area. On the walk up there one gets a glimpse of the old part of the Village with the little church in the center. Proceeding on pleasant path ways, pretty newer Chalets are passed. The environment is lush with Pine trees and grass and flowers and there is also a tiny lake. 

The track then becomes an easy walk, Obergoms.jpg (40644 Byte) descending slightly to the area with the Deer enclosure in the Ammere region. The altitude is now, after crossing the Wilerbach, some 1450 m, the lowest point. After that it's mostly climbing up until crossing Walibach, at about 1680 m. The area has been given the name Selkinger Chaeller (Chaeller=cellar): in the summer it's refreshingly cool here. 

Tempting there is the small Restaurant, the Walibach Raclette.jpg (52554 Byte) Hut, with its genuine Raclette. On an open fire the Valais specialty is being prepared in its real, original way. Valais white wine is available too, of course.

Then the Reckingerbach in the Baechital is crossed.  Here in the Gufersmatte Hut (Haenggisch Gufersmatte: Firehorn-HejiZwaechteHittae) is again provided for Eat and Drink. 
After a short climb we have now reached the highest point at about 1780 m. After that we're on the downhill track to Reckingen, shortcutting the drive-way.

The mentioned Restaurants are open every day from June through October (depending on the weather).

top of page

Oberwald-Gluringen on the forest track

Oberwald-Gluringen-Waldweg.jpg (165647 Byte)Active map:

Ca. 5 hrs. 
Shorting other stretching the route is easily possible. Starting from the different villages with the MGB Railway stops there, alternative Starting and Endpoints can be chosen.

From the Oberwald MGB Railway station we use the underpass and in the Southern direction we head for the bridge over Rhone (Rotte). After crossing the river, turning downriver we're walking right along the riverbank. Although the first 600 m are not the official route, at the Golf range we hit the "legal" route. We proceed until the bridge at Obergesteln is reached. Reaching the Golf range, a board cautions for  flying Golf balls, but its more probable to being kissed by the water off the sprinkler. This first part is on the "Rottenweg".

At Obergesteln the track for the "Waldweg" could be hidden when the grass stands high. The dirt track trough the pasture begins after about 100 m on the Bitumen road  between Hotel and Restaurant, up to the right. After a few Minutes the forest track is clearly visible.

After Obergesteln the track is heading to the settlement Loch with old stables and the chapel St.Anna.
After passing the Nufenen pass road the route now runs along the Aegene river. Just before reaching the Camping ground of Ulrichen, the track on the left is heading up to our "Bergweg" and from now on, the route runs on a level between 1400 and 1500 m. Flat sections are followed by ascents, to be succeeded by a descents.

Geschinen-Galmih.jpg (40270 Byte)Along the lovely forest track the sight time and again wanders over to the slopes and cuts along the other side of the Gommer valley. Along there runs the "Gommer Hoehenweg" from Oberwald to Bellwald.


Fuergangen-Muehlebach over new Suspension-Bridge

From the MGB-Railway station at Fuergangen (with On the Bridge.jpg (539369 Byte) cable station car to Bellwald) we cross the Railway-Line and follow the Bitumen road down to the Main road, the Furkapass road. For the crossing over to the suspension Bridge we're using the underpass, which brings us directly to the Bridge. 
Across, there are Lookback_Fuergangen.jpg (515111 Byte)boards with informations and proposals for a couple of interesting tours starting there. There is also a piggy-box if you want to make a contribution for the bridge.

The "official" route is leading up to the forest and through the village of Muehlebach.
An extension of the hiking track is leading up to Chaeserstatt.

I chose to follow the Bitumen road, which will join the road between Steinhaus and Muehlebach.


Gluringen-Furgangen.jpg (208003 Byte)Interactive map:

GPS route:

In order to reach the "Rottenweg", first the MGB track has to be under passed. Then, after bypassing the barracks, we cross the Rhone river (Rotten). After the weir with the reservoir we're on the comfortable walking track.

Biel Obergoms.jpg (44067 Byte)After a first Camping ground, at the turnoff for Ritzingen (the Ritzibrigge), the road leaves the riverbank. Another idyllic Camping area is bypassed and at Bieligermatte we're heading again towards the river.

The  following light woods contains a fish hatchery Fischzucht.jpg (52642 Byte) with a small Restaurant. Fishing rods can be rented and the catch may be cleaned and cooked right on the premises. Some chores of course may be delegated for a small charge.

The route continues along the Rotte. About 750m after the bridge for Blitzingen, we're following the railway track along the right side of the stream. After the gallery we're crossing back over to the other side by the Niederwaldbridge. A short climb follows. For Rhone river the space has narrowed now and the valley is now deeply cut.

At Steinhaus we are almost 100m above the river. Steinhaus too has a long and eventful history. The tower suggests that here probably was a small citadel or a superiors residence. See Link to Ernen and history.

Kirche-Bettlihorn.jpg (20528 Byte)A marker points for the track to the tower and the road through the hamlet. After 200m it merges with the Bitumen road to Muehlebach and Ernen.
The tunnel at Loeuewibach (avalanche-creek) can be detoured by a footpath on the right.

The suspension bridge now makes an easy crossing over to Fuergangen. TheRhone-Fuergangen.jpg (57076 Byte) Bitumenroad to the left brings us into the village with a couple of old wooden houses. 
From the village a couple of tracks are ready for hikes up to Chaeserstatt and Ernergale, to Ernen and continuing by the Galgen (gallows) to Fiesch and "Fiesch Sport und Feriencenter".


Circle walk Muehlebach-Ernen-Gallows-Muehlebach

Reaching Muehlebach, a closer look into the hamlet awards with remarkable insights to old house constructions. Don't miss the little church. 
Brochures are provided from a box along the way. 

This is not Disneyland, it's a normal living community.
From Muehlebach two beautiful tracks connect with Ernen, which is another "must see". One track (To Ernen ?) begins after the old Bakehouse over the little bridge. The other (Return path ?) is to the North of the Bitumen road and is passing the Galgen (Gallows).

Bellwald.jpg (69893 Byte) Galgen.jpg (72537 Byte) Galgen2.jpg (81276 Byte) Galgen-Tafel.jpg (197949 Byte)
Left, across valley is Fuergangen, behind Muehlebach-church is Bellwald Shady resting places at the Gallows Remnants of the Gallows Info-Board: Gallows for the criminal court of Ernen until 1798. Last execution 1764.


Galmihuette.jpg (187943 Byte)Interactive map:


4.5 hrs return
On the shortest way it takes some two to two and a half hours from the Muenster MGB-Railway station to the Hut. Although the "Hut" Gamihornhuette.jpg (43531 Byte)there is a three storey Chalet! - with a homely mountain Restaurant. Check for opening hours, usually "officially" open only July through Sept.

My route up: Goeuchette - Judestafel - Salgaebi.
The lower part of the road is Bitumen surface. After a couple of turns it is gravel. A little later, at a group of weekend homes, we've reached the track of the "Gommer Hoehenweg". After crossing that track and following the upgoing road (I didn't recognize a sign for Galmihuette) for another km we're confronted with two options: choosing the steep forest track, or following the gravel road. For the way up I chose the pretty steep forest track. On the way back I preferred the gravel drive way.


Winter trails, Goms

From Oberwald to Niederwald there is a whole bundle of winter trails to choose from.
Also over at the Steinhaus to Ernen area (with Bus connections from Fiesch) trails are prepared for the hikers.
Up at Bellwald (cable car from Fuergangen MGB-stop) and in the Oberwald area are winter trails too.


Gluringen to Oberwald

Gluringen-Oberwald.JPG (104980 Byte)Interactive map:


(3.5 hrs)  At the Gluringen railway stop I chose a short detour up to the mainroad; then passing the house of the village administration, after that I crossed the road to the cheese shop to get me some goody's. 
From there, just about 50 m on the same roadside, towards Gluringen, a short private road is heading to a cabinet makers enterprise. Right there a track is cut in the snow which connects with the "official" winter trail.

Beim Hobachji.jpg (368996 Byte)All the trail are nicely laid into plains, more or less flat, sometimes a trail hits or crosses a cross country ski trail, but it is always a separate tracks. 

The scenery is lovely: sugar covered trees, scenic  views to the villages in the distance, the Rhone-Tällistock.jpg (504966 Byte) shiny mountains, the tree-flanked rivers, the skiers gliding in the distance.. It's a peaceful atmosphere.

The nice thing is, that there are many options to choose from and a railway stop is always near.


The villages on the other side of the Rhone

Steinhaus, Muehlebach, Ernen, Niederernen, Ausserbinn

The continuation of the Rottenweg gets us in contact with history.
At first sight it's amazing, that suddenly there are villages on the left side of the Rhone river, away from the main road.
The explanation is simple: today's road was built 1861 and the line of the Furkabahn (today MGB, Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn) is in operation since 1914.
Before, the roads or mule tracks were running by Ernen and Muehlebach towards Obergesteln/Zum Loch for Furkapass or Nufenen/Griespass respectively. Another road was leading by Niederernen through Binntal over Albrunpass to Italy. In the other direction, the Gommer road was heading down to Brig with the Simplonpass passage to Italy.
So, with the new road and the train track, the Villages mentioned above were put on the sideline.

The positive side of it is: Steinhaus, Muehlebach, Ernen, Niederernen and Ausserbinn are well maintained old Walliser villages. Those are not museum sites. Renovations and new buildings are being done with great care.


Ernen, History:

Ernen today consists of hamlets Ernen, Niederernen, Ausserbinn, Muehlebach, Steinhaus.

Tomb sites suggest, that in pre Christian times already people have settled in this area. Goms was subordinated to Ernen, according to a deed from the 12th Cent. 
In the 14th Cent. there were the two administrations: Muenster and Ernen. The power of High court though was always in Ernen. The Gallows in Ernen was renewed in 1702.

For the Catholic Church Ernen was always important: aside from Muenster was Ernen the second Main-parish in Goms. The church is firstly mentioned in a document of 1214.
Stately homes indicate prosperity. See Link to Ernen (In Ge).

Muehlebach is known as the village with the oldest still existing central part of wooden houses.  
The village was first mentioned in a document of 1215.
17 houses were built before the 17th Cent.

Cardinal Schiner, in the 15th/16th Cent. a very influential man, was born in Muehlebach. He had often his hands in the plays of politic and church: in the Leventina, in Bellinzona, in the connections of the families Visconti, in the strategic positions of the Canton Uri and the Swiss Federation, in the catastrophic battle in Marignano, in the disputes between Italy and France. He was good friend with the Zurich Reformer Zwingli, but turned against him when it came to the split in the church. (See remarks on the Biasca part in Leventina)

Marignano was a turning point in Swiss history. 
There were Swiss mercenaries on both sides of the forces; in reality Swiss were killing each other in the name of their respective "owners". Realizing this perversity,  the Tagsatzung declared "Reislaufen" (engage into foreign military service) unlawful after that bloody battle.

Siehe Links (In Ge).

Book (in Ge): Walliser Totentanz


"Bio Bergkaeserei Goms" in Gluringen:

On the main road Oberwald to Brig, on the left after passing Reckingen but before entering Gluringen there is a cheese dairy with shop

Among other products is the "Baschi", a whole cheese of about 1 kilo: tasty, and handy to take along.

top of page



In the historic context

Reading Pirmin Meier’s Book about Micheli du Crest, I stumbled over a section where Wenger Baschi is mentioned. Here a summary:

In the late 18th Century Switzerland was more or less a French Satellite. French Emissaries had the saying in important matters. In many regions unrest, frustration, hatred against the foreigners was growing.
In the upper Valais region (Oberwallis) citizens were not interested in „new opportunities“: they were happy with the old, very liberal rights and rejected the new rules (like paying new taxes). When even under their own neighbors some demonstrated in favor of the French, the fire was ignited.

A young giant of a man by the name of  Sebastian Weger of Geschinen  protested loud and clear. In May 1798 Baschi (short for Sebastian) stated, that he would march down to Sion and teach them a lesson and he would even march on to Lausanne , even to Paris. 
His family had a tradition of serving as mercenaries and Baschi declared himself  as officer, to lead his group against the foreign rulers. He pretty quickly found supporters in his Goms vicinity, and marching down to Sierre the Protest group had grown to an army of 5’000. Now with this size, they needed a Professional as leader. He was found in the person of Joseph von Courten in Siders (=Sierre). In the lower Valais (Unterwallis) a troop of 1'000 man under Captain Jacquot joined them.

In the confrontation with regime-friendly Unterwallis soldiers, enforced with 1400 Vaudois (Waadt) troops under General Bergier, the situation looked pretty good for the army with Baschi. But now, in the view of success, some wanted to go home, and also ammunition was in short supply. Baschi’s army got into disarray. Finally they lost on May 17th 1798 against the army of General Schauenberg. Some 300 man became prisoners and they were jailed in the Chateau Chillon.

The situation in the prison was so horrible, that the French commander decided to let most of the prisoners go, except for the 61 bad guys. They were transferred to Berne for prosecution.

In the mean time new uprisings broke out in Central Switzerland . These conflicts were considered much more grave, and so most of the prisoners were released, except for Jacquot, the monk Ebner and Baschi Weger who was considered the ringleader who started the avalanche.

They were incarcerated in the Aarburg, the citadel, where Micheli du Crest had been prisoner too. A few months later the three were released.

Baschi refrained from getting involved in new insubordination. According to tale, he served under Napoleon in the offensive against Russia .

Weger Baschi, Geschinen: 1759-1832
(See www.obergommer.ch/genealogie/5017.htm)

Base of the excerpt:
Die Einsamkeit des Staatsgefangenen Micheli du Crest”: Pirmin Meier (Pendo Zürich, München)

Micheli du Crest was a Scientist (he invented a new Thermometer), an Engineer (as Officer a respected specialist in Defence constructions), he criticized the political System in Geneva as being an Oligarchy (he agreed with the ideas of Montesquieu (1689-1755)).

He was found guilty of high treason and was symbolically beheaded in Geneva. Later he was kept prisoner in the citadel Aarburg for 19 years. He was wealthy and had contact with many famous people: Brothers Bernoulli, E. Lessing, J.W.Goethe, Georg Zimmermann, S.Henzi, J.J.Rousseau.

The systematic mapping of Switzerland that began under General Dufour was mainly based on du Crests proposals. The decision for the removal of the Geneva Defencewalls in the 20th Century used many of du Crests arguments. The new Swiss Democratic system  of 1848 contains many of du Crest’s ideas


Up ]